Chicken stock is incredibly easy to make and just so much tastier homemade than it is store-bought. Plus, there are tons of benefits to making it on your own. For starters, you get to control the amount of sodium that goes in the stock, a major bonus for healthy cooking. Equally important, you control the flavor. Have some fresh dill or a Parmigiana cheese rind on hand? Throw them in the pot -- the more the merrier. Even better, it's the perfect way to use that leftover roast chicken.
Here's an easy homemade recipe I would use all day, everyday if I had a surplus of chickens lying around the house:
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• Leftover whole chicken (with bones, skin and meat) • 1 large onion, quartered (no peeling necessary!) • 3 carrots, cut in large chunks • 3-4 celery stalks, cut in large chunks • 1 head of garlic, halfed • 2-3 bay leaves • 10 sprigs fresh thyme • 10 sprigs fresh parsley • 10 sprigs fresh dill • 10 whole peppercorns • Kosher salt to taste • Cold water, about 2 gallons
Remove most of the meat from leftover roast chicken and set aside for use in soup or sandwiches. Bundle fresh herbs together and tie with kitchen string. Place all ingredients in a large stock pot, cover with water. Bring to a rapid simmer over high heat, then reduce to a low gentle bubble. Simmer on low uncovered for 4-5 hours, skimming the top with a mesh strainer a few times throughout cooking. When stock is colored and flavor has fully developed, strain entire contents of the pot. Discard solids. Chill overnight and remove the surface fat. Use immediately or freeze for up to 3 months in portioned containers. Use this stock as a delicious base for sauces, soups, or stews, or to deglaze pans when sautéing.